Favourite directors of the 80s and 90s

by bigloada | created - 04 Dec 2013 | updated - 1 month ago | Public

People who made great work in the last two decades of the 20th century.

1. Martin Scorsese

Director | Taxi Driver

Martin Charles Scorsese was born on November 17, 1942 in Queens, New York City, to Catherine Scorsese (née Cappa) and Charles Scorsese, who both worked in Manhattan's garment district, and whose families both came from Palermo, Sicily. He was raised in the neighborhood of Little Italy, which later ...

Raging Bull, The King Of Comedy, After Hours, The Color Of Money, The Last Temptation Of Christ, Goodfellas, Cape Fear, The Age Of Innocence, Casino, Kundun, Bringing Out The Dead

2. David Lynch

Writer | Twin Peaks

Born in precisely the kind of small-town American setting so familiar from his films, David Lynch spent his childhood being shunted from one state to another as his research scientist father kept getting relocated. He attended various art schools, married Peggy Lynch and then fathered future ...

The Elephant Man, Dune, Blue Velvet, Wild At Heart, Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me, Lost Highway

3. Krzysztof Kieslowski

Writer | Trois couleurs: Bleu

Krzysztof Kieslowski graduated from Lódz Film School in 1969, and became a documentary, TV and feature film director and scriptwriter. Before making his first film for TV, Przejscie podziemne (1974) (The Underground Passage), he made a number of short documentaries. His next TV title, Personnel (...

Blind Chance, Dekalog, The Double Life Of Vernonique, Three Colours

4. Stanley Kubrick

Director | 2001: A Space Odyssey

Stanley Kubrick was born in Manhattan, New York City, to Sadie Gertrude (Perveler) and Jacob Leonard Kubrick, a physician. His family were Jewish immigrants (from Austria, Romania, and Russia). Stanley was considered intelligent, despite poor grades at school. Hoping that a change of scenery would ...

The Shining, Full Metal Jacket, Eyes Wide Shut

5. Jim Jarmusch

Director | Broken Flowers

Moved to New York City at the age of seventeen from Akron, Ohio. Graduated from Columbia University with a B.A. in English, class of '75. Without any prior film experience, he was accepted into the Tisch School of the Arts, New York.

Permanent Vacation, Stranger Than Paradise, Down By Law, Mystery Train, Night On Earth, Dead Man, Ghost Dog

6. Joel Coen

Producer | The Ballad of Buster Scruggs

Joel Coen was born on November 29, 1954 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA as Joel Daniel Coen. He is a producer and writer, known for The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (2018), Fargo (1996) and A Serious Man (2009). He has been married to Frances McDormand since April 1, 1984. They have one child.

Blood Simple, Raising Arizona, Miller's Crossing, Barton Fink, The Hudsucker Proxy, Fargo, The Big Lebowski

7. Steven Spielberg

Producer | Schindler's List

One of the most influential personalities in the history of cinema, Steven Spielberg is Hollywood's best known director and one of the wealthiest filmmakers in the world. He has an extraordinary number of commercially successful and critically acclaimed credits to his name, either as a director, ...

Raiders Of The Lost Ark, ET, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, The Color Purple, Empire Of The Sun, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Always, Hook, Jurassic Park, Schindler's List, The Lost World, Amistad, Saving Private Ryan

8. Whit Stillman

Director | Love & Friendship

Whit Stillman was born in 1952 and raised in Cornwall in upstate New York, the son of a impoverished debutante from Philadelphia and a Democratic politician from Washington D.C. Stillman graduated from Harvard in 1973 and started out as a journalist in Manhattan, New York City.

In 1980 he met and ...

Metropolitan, Barcelona, The Last Days Of Disco

9. Brian De Palma

Director | Dressed to Kill

Brian De Palma is the son of a surgeon. He studied physics but at the same time felt his dedication for the movies and made some short films. After seven independent productions he had his first success with Sisters (1972) and his voyeuristic style. Restlessly he worked on big projects with the ...

Home Movies, Dressed To Kill, Blow Out, Scarface, Body Double, Wise Guys, The Untouchables, Casualties Of War, The Bonfire Of The Vanities, Raising Cain, Carlito's Way, Mission Impossible, Snake Eyes

9. Michael Mann

Producer | The Insider

A student of London's International Film School, Michael Mann began his career in the late 70s, writing for TV shows like Starsky and Hutch (1975). He directed his first film, the award-winning prison drama The Jericho Mile (1979), in 1979. He followed that in 1981 with his first theatrical release,...

Thief, The Keep, Manhunter, The Last Of The Mohicans, Heat, The Insider

11. Hayao Miyazaki

Director | Sen to Chihiro no kamikakushi

Hayao Miyazaki is one of Japan's greatest animation directors. The entertaining plots, compelling characters, and breathtaking animation in his films have earned him international renown from critics as well as public recognition within Japan. The Walt Disney Company's commitment to introduce the ...

Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, Castle In The Sky, My Neighbor Totoro, Kiki's Delivery Service, Porco Rosso, Princess Mononoke

12. Wim Wenders

Director | Der Himmel über Berlin

Wim Wenders is an Oscar-nominated German filmmaker who was born Ernst Wilhelm Wenders on August 14, 1945 in Düsseldorf, which then was located in the British Occupation Zone of what became the Bundesrepublik Deutschland (Federal Republic of Germany, known colloquially as West Germany until ...

Hammett, The State Of Things, Paris Texas, Wings Of Desire, Until The End Of The World, Faraway So Close, Lisbon Story, The End Of Violence

13. Woody Allen

Writer | Manhattan

Woody Allen was born Allan Stewart Konigsberg on December 1, 1935 in Brooklyn, New York, to Nettie (Cherrie), a bookkeeper, and Martin Konigsberg, a waiter and jewellery engraver. His father was of Russian Jewish descent, and his maternal grandparents were Austrian Jewish immigrants. As a young boy...

Stardust Memories, A Midsummer Night's Sex Comedy, Zelig, Broadway Danny Rose, The Purple Rose Of Cairo, Hannah And Her Sisters, Radio Days, September, Another Woman, Crimes And Misdemeanors, Alice, Shadows And Fog, Husbands And Wives, Manhattan Murder Mystery, Bullets Over Broadway, Mighty Aphrodite, Everyone Says I Love You, Deconstructing Harry, Celebrity, Sweet And Lowdown

14. Quentin Tarantino

Writer | Reservoir Dogs

Quentin Jerome Tarantino was born in Knoxville, Tennessee. His father, Tony Tarantino, is an Italian-American actor and musician from New York, and his mother, Connie (McHugh), is a nurse from Tennessee. Quentin moved with his mother to Torrance, California, when he was four years old.

In January of...

Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction, Jackie Brown

15. Michael Haneke

Writer | Caché

A true master of his craft, Michael Haneke is one of the greatest film artists working today and one who challenges his viewers each year and work goes by, with films that reflect real portions of life in realistic, disturbing and unforgettable ways. One of the most genuine filmmakers of the world ...

The Seventh Continent, Benny's Video, 71 Fragments of a Chronology of Chance, The Castle, Funny Games

16. Gus Van Sant

Director | Elephant

Gus Van Sant was born on July 24, 1952 in Louisville, Kentucky, USA as Gus Greene Van Sant Junior. He is a director and producer, known for Elephant (2003), My Own Private Idaho (1991) and Drugstore Cowboy (1989).

Mala Noche, Drugstore Cowboy, My Own Private Idaho, Even Cowgirls Get The Blues, To Die For, Good Will Hunting, Psycho

17. David Fincher

Director | Se7en

David Fincher was born in 1962 in Denver, Colorado, and was raised in Marin County, California. When he was 18 years old he went to work for John Korty at Korty Films in Mill Valley. He subsequently worked at ILM (Industrial Light and Magic) from 1981-1983. Fincher left ILM to direct TV commercials...

Se7en, The Game, Fight Club

18. John Hughes

Writer | Planes, Trains & Automobiles

John Hughes was born on February 18, 1950 in Lansing, Michigan, USA as John Wilden Hughes Jr. He was a writer, known for Planes, Trains & Automobiles (1987), The Breakfast Club (1985) and Weird Science (1985). He was married to Nancy Hughes. He died on August 6, 2009 in Manhattan, New York City...

Sixteen Candles, The Breakfast Club, Weird Science, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Planes Trains & Automobiles, She's Having A Baby, Uncle Buck, Curly Sue

19. Robert Altman

Director | Gosford Park

Robert Altman was born on February 20th, 1925 in Kansas City, Missouri, to B.C. (an insurance salesman) and Helen Altman. He entered St. Peters Catholic school at the age six, and spent a short time at a Catholic high school. From there, he went to Rockhurst High School. It was then that he started...

HealtH, Popeye, Come Back to the 5 & Dime Jimmy Dean Jimmy Dean, Streamers, Secret Honor, OC And Stiggs, Fool For Love, Beyond Therapy, Vincent & Theo, The Player, Short Cuts, Prêt-à-Porter, Kansas City, The Gingerbread Man, Cookie's Fortune

20. Paul Thomas Anderson

Director | There Will Be Blood

Anderson was born in 1970. He was one of the first of the "video store" generation of film-makers. His father was the first man on his block to own a V.C.R., and from a very early age Anderson had an infinite number of titles available to him. While film-makers like Spielberg cut their teeth making...

Hard Eight, Boogie Nights, Magnolia

21. James L. Brooks

Writer | Broadcast News

James L. Brooks was born on May 9, 1940 in Brooklyn, New York, USA as James Lawrence Brooks. He is a writer and producer, known for Broadcast News (1987), As Good as It Gets (1997) and Terms of Endearment (1983). He was previously married to Holly Holmberg Brooks and Marianne Catherine Morrissey.

Terms Of Endearment, Broadcast News, I'll Do Anything, As Good As It Gets

22. Lars von Trier

Writer | Dancer in the Dark

Probably the most ambitious and visually distinctive filmmaker to emerge from Denmark since Carl Theodor Dreyer over 60 years earlier, Lars von Trier studied film at the Danish Film School and attracted international attention with his very first feature, The Element of Crime (1984). A highly ...

The Element Of Crime, Epidemic, Medea, Europa, Breaking The Waves, The Idiots

23. Steven Soderbergh

Director | Sex, Lies, and Videotape

Steven Andrew Soderbergh was born on January 14, 1963 in Atlanta, Georgia, USA, the second of six children of Mary Ann (Bernard) and Peter Soderbergh. His father was of Swedish and Irish descent, and his mother was of Italian ancestry. While he was still at a very young age, his family moved to ...

Sex Lies & Videotape, Kafka, King Of The Hill, The Underneath, Gray's Anatomy, Schizopolis, Out Of Sight, The Limey

24. Pedro Almodóvar

Writer | Hable con ella

The most internationally acclaimed Spanish filmmaker since Luis Buñuel was born in a small town (Calzada de Calatrava) in the impoverished Spanish region of La Mancha. He arrived in Madrid in 1968, and survived by selling used items in the flea-market called El Rastro. Almodóvar couldn't study ...

Labyrinth Of Passion, Dark Habits, What Have I Done To Deserve This, Matador, Law Of Desire, Women On The Verge Of A Nervous Breakdown, Tie Me Up Tie Me Down, High Heels, Kika, The Flower Of My Secret, Live Flesh, All About My Mother

25. Terry Gilliam

Writer | Brazil

Terry Gilliam was born near Medicine Lake, Minnesota. When he was 12 his family moved to Los Angeles where he became a fan of MAD magazine. In his early twenties he was often stopped by the police who suspected him of being a drug addict and Gilliam had to explain that he worked in advertising. In ...

Time Bandits, Brazil, The Adventures Of Baron Munchausen, The Fisher King, Twelve Monkeys, Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas

26. Mike Leigh

Director | Secrets & Lies

Mike Leigh was born on February 20, 1943 in Salford, Greater Manchester, England. He is a director and writer, known for Secrets & Lies (1996), Happy-Go-Lucky (2008) and Another Year (2010). He was previously married to Alison Steadman.

High Hopes, Life Is Sweet, Naked, Secrets & Lies, Career Girls, Topsy-Turvy

27. Rob Reiner

Actor | All in the Family

Robert Reiner was born in New York City, to Estelle Reiner (née Lebost) and Emmy-winning actor, comedian, writer, and producer Carl Reiner.

As a child, he often looked up to his father as his inspiration and role-model. Carl Reiner was on The Dick Van Dyke Show, which he created and also starred in....

This Is Spinal Tap, The Sure Thing, Stand By Me, The Princess Bride, When Harry Met Sally, Misery, A Few Good Men, North, The American President, Ghosts From The Past, The Story Of Us

28. Jonathan Demme

Director | The Silence of the Lambs

Jonathan Demme was born on February 22, 1944 in Baldwin, Long Island, New York, USA as Robert Jonathan Demme. He was a director and producer, known for The Silence of the Lambs (1991), Rachel Getting Married (2008) and Philadelphia (1993). He was married to Joanne Howard and Evelyn Purcell. He died...

Melvin & Howard, Swing Shift, Stop Making Sense, Something Wild, Swimming To Cambodia, Married To The Mob, Famous All Over Town, Silence Of The Lambs, Philadelphia, Beloved

29. Stephen Frears

Director | Dangerous Liaisons

Stephen Frears was born on June 20, 1941 in Leicester, Leicestershire, England as Stephen Arthur Frears. He is a director and producer, known for Dangerous Liaisons (1988), Philomena (2013) and Dirty Pretty Things (2002). He has been married to Anne Rothenstein since 1992. They have two children. ...

The Hit, My Beautiful Laundrette, Prick Up Your Ears, Sammy And Rosie Get Laid, Dangerous Liaisons, The Grifters, Accidental Hero, Mary Reilly, The Van, The Hi-Lo Country

30. Richard Linklater

Director | Waking Life

Self-taught writer-director Richard Stuart Linklater was born in Houston, Texas, to Diane Margaret (Krieger), who taught at a university, and Charles W. Linklater III. Richard was among the first and most successful talents to emerge during the American independent film renaissance of the 1990s. ...

Slacker, Dazed And Confused, Before Sunrise, SubUrbia, The Newton Boys

31. Barry Levinson

Director | Rain Man

Barry Levinson was born in Baltimore, Maryland, to Violet (Krichinsky) and Irvin Levinson, who worked in furniture and appliance. He is of Russian Jewish descent. Levinson graduated from high school in 1960, attended college at American University in Washington, DC. He did well, but decided he ...

Diner, The Natural, Young Sherlock Holmes, Tin Men, Good Morning Vietnam, Rain Man, Avalon, Bugsy, Toys, Jimmy Hollywood, Disclosure, Sleepers, Wag The Dog, Sphere, Liberty Heights

32. Bruno Dumont

Writer | P'tit Quinquin

Bruno Dumont was born on March 14, 1958 in Bailleul, Nord, Nord-Pas-de-Calais, France. He is a writer and director, known for Li'l Quinquin (2014), The Life of Jesus (1997) and Camille Claudel 1915 (2013).

The Life Of Jesus, L'humanite

33. Milos Forman

Director | One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

Milos Forman was born Jan Tomas Forman in Caslav, Czechoslovakia, to Anna (Svabova), who ran a summer hotel, and Rudolf Forman, a professor. During World War II, his parents were taken away by the Nazis, after being accused of participating in the underground resistance. His father died in ...

Ragtime, Amadeus, Valmont, The People Vs. Larry Flynt, Man On The Moon

34. Nicolas Roeg

Director | Don't Look Now

When he made his directorial debut in 1970, Nicolas Roeg was already a 23-year veteran of the British film industry, starting out in 1947 as an editing apprentice and working his way up to cinematographer twelve years later. He first came to attention as part of the second unit on David Lean's ...

Bad Timing, Eureka, Insignificance, Castaway, Track 29, The Witches, Cold Heaven, Two Deaths

35. Joel Schumacher

Director | The Phantom of the Opera

Joel Schumacher was born on August 29, 1939 in New York City, New York, USA as Joel T. Schumacher. He is a director and writer, known for The Phantom of the Opera (2004), Batman & Robin (1997) and 8MM (1999).

The Incredible Shrinking Woman, DC Cab, St. Elmo's Fire, The Lost Boys, Cousins, Flatliners, Dying Young, Falling Down, The Client, Batman Forever, A Time To Kill, Batman & Robin, 8mm, Flawless

36. Errol Morris

Director | The Fog of War: Eleven Lessons from the Life of Robert S. McNamara

His documentaries helped spur a rebirth of non-fiction film in the 80s & garnered wide critical success. But until 2003's "The Fog of War," Morris was shunned by the Academy Awards.

Morris' first two films won much acclaim (Gates of Heaven (1978) and Vernon, Florida (1981)). In the second movie, ...

Vernon Florida, The Thin Blue Line, A Brief History Of Time, Fast Cheap And Out Of Control, Mr. Death

37. Kevin Smith

Producer | Clerks

Kevin Patrick Smith was born in Red Bank but grew up in Highlands, New Jersey, the son of Grace (Schultz) and Donald E. Smith, a postal worker. He is very proud of his native state; this fact can be seen in all of his movies. Kevin is of mostly German, with some Irish and English, ancestry.

His ...

Clerks, Mallrats, Chasing Amy, Dogma

38. Harmony Korine

Director | Gummo

Harmony Korine was born in 1973 in Bolinas, California. His family moved to the east coast of the United States when he was five, and he spent his early years in Nashville, Tennessee, and New York. At the age of nineteen, he wrote the critically acclaimed screenplay Kids (1995) for director Larry ...

Gummo, Julien Donkey-Boy

39. Todd Solondz

Director | Welcome to the Dollhouse

Todd Solondz was born in Newark, New Jersey. One of his earliest jobs in the film industry was when, as a young man, he worked as a messenger for the Writers' Guild of America. During this time, he wrote several screenplays.

Solondz's first color film with sync sound was the short "Schatt's Last ...

Fear Anxiety & Depression, Welcome To The Dollhouse, Happiness

40. Cameron Crowe

Writer | Almost Famous

Certainly idiosyncratic as a writer, Cameron Crowe has created a series of scripts that, while liked by the critics, were considered offbeat and difficult to market.

Cameron Bruce Crowe was born in Palm Springs, California, to Alice Marie Crowe (née George), a teacher and activist, and James A. ...

Say Anything, Singles, Jerry Maguire

41. Robert Zemeckis

Writer | Back to the Future

A whiz-kid with special effects, Robert is from the Spielberg camp of film-making (Steven Spielberg produced many of his films). Usually working with writing partner Bob Gale, Robert's earlier films show he has a talent for zany comedy (Romancing the Stone (1984), 1941 (1979)) and special effect ...

Used Cars, Romancing The Stone, Back To The Future, Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Back To The Future Pt II, Back To The Future Pt III, Death Becomes Her, Forrest Gump, Contact

42. Chris Columbus

Producer | Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

Born in Pennsylvania and raised in Ohio, Chris Columbus was first inspired to make movies after seeing "The Godfather" at age 15. After enrolling at NYU film school, he sold his first screenplay (never produced) while a sophomore there. After graduation Columbus tried to sell his fourth script, "...

Adventures In Babysitting, Heartbreak Hotel, Home Alone, Only The Lonely, Home Alone 2: Lost In New York, Mrs. Doubtfire, Nine Months, Stepmom, Bicentennial Man

43. Tim Burton

Producer | Edward Scissorhands

Timothy Walter Burton was born in Burbank, California, to Jean Rae (Erickson), who owned a cat-themed gift shop, and William Reed Burton, who worked for the Burbank Park and Recreation Department. He spent most of his childhood as a recluse, drawing cartoons, and watching old movies (he was ...

Pee-wee's Big Adventure, Beetlejuice, Batman, Edward Scissorhands, Batman Returns, Ed Wood, Mars Attacks, Sleepy Hollow

44. Danny Boyle

Director | 127 Hours

Danny Boyle was born on October 20, 1956 in Manchester, England as Daniel Boyle. He is a director and producer, known for 127 Hours (2010), 28 Days Later... (2002) and Slumdog Millionaire (2008).

Shallow Grave, Trainspotting, A Life Less Ordinary

45. Agnès Varda

Director | Sans toit ni loi

Agnès Varda was born on May 30, 1928 in Brussels, Belgium as Arlette Varda. She was a director and writer, known for Vagabond (1985), Faces Places (2017) and Cleo from 5 to 7 (1962). She was married to Jacques Demy. She died on March 29, 2019 in Paris, France.

Vagabond, Le Petit Amour, Jane B. for Agnes V., Jacquot, One Hundred And One Nights

46. David Mamet

Writer | House of Games

David Mamet was born on November 30, 1947 in Chicago, Illinois, USA as David Alan Mamet. He is a writer and producer, known for House of Games (1987), State and Main (2000) and Wag the Dog (1997). He has been married to Rebecca Pidgeon since September 22, 1991. They have two children. He was ...

House Of Games, Things Change, Homicide, Oleanna, The Spanish Prisoner, The Winslow Boy

47. Wes Anderson

Writer | Fantastic Mr. Fox

Wesley Wales Anderson was born in Houston, Texas. His mother, Texas Ann (Burroughs), is an archaeologist turned real estate agent, and his father, Melver Leonard Anderson, worked in advertising and PR. He has two brothers, Eric and Mel. Anderson's parents divorced when he was a young child, an ...

Bottle Rocket, Rushmore

48. Robert Redford

Actor | The Natural

Charles Robert Redford, Jr. was born on August 18, 1936, in Santa Monica, California, to Martha (Hart), from Texas, and Charles Robert Redford, an accountant for Standard Oil, who was originally from Connecticut. He is of English, Scottish, Cornish, and Irish ancestry. Robert's mother died in 1955,...

Ordinary People, The Milagro Beanfield War, A River Runs Through It, Quiz Show, The Horse Whisperer



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